Posts tagged ‘multifamily’

February 21, 2017, 9:00 am

The Trend Toward Socially Conscious Multifamily Facilities

feb21

The multifamily sector is seeing an amenities arms race. Residents want more and more, and the desired amenities now branch beyond obvious offerings like concierge services and rooftop terraces. Many new amenities are designed to draw in socially conscious tenants.

Building Design + Construction magazine recently named some popular new amenities. Among them were bike storage and car-sharing services – amenities that help tenants live a more socially responsible lifestyle. Likewise when it comes to new technology, tenants want amenities that help them (and the broader community) live sustainably, like advanced controls for HVAC and lighting systems.

Some tenants are socially conscious enough that they’re taking it a step further and signing so-called “green leases.” Green Building & Design magazine notes that in Boston’s Allston Green District, residents must sign a Green Declaration. In doing so, they commit to activities like minimizing energy and water usage, recycling and using public transit – the idea being that not only must the building be green, but so must its tenants. That might sound like a tall order, but finding tenants was no problem for this neighborhood: every unit was preleased before the building was completed.

Of course, not all tenants are ready for a green lease. Some just want to live in a building with green practices – particularly recycling. A recent National Multifamily Housing Council survey found that 80 percent of tenants consider recycling a “top lease decision factor,” and are willing to pay more in rent for that amenity.

This trend toward social consciousness may seem intimidating, but facility managers can rest assured that even small steps can make a difference. For example, a simple recycling program can help attract the new – and large – generation of socially conscious tenants. And those facility managers who can push broader green programs – they’ll be in good company!

Want to read more industry news? Click here to see our archive of newsletters written for architects, engineers, facility managers and builders. You’ll also have a chance to subscribe to one or more newsletters.

Written by MitsubishiHVAC
Comments Off
September 28, 2016, 9:00 am

Student Housing Serves New Specials

desk-2

College campuses are trending, and not just with restaurant-quality dining or extra-curricular activities; they’re attracting high school graduates with student housing – specifically with “live and learn” residential communities. Building Design + Construction magazine reported on these newly developed accommodations that are practical and productive for students. A lot sounded familiar to the conversations we have surrounding the importance of smart HVAC solutions:

  • Universities Go Big With Common Spaces and Academic Areas.” When choosing housing, students look for a space that serves academic and social purposes because “a lot of what students learn isn’t in the classroom.” Therefore, residential areas must include space for students to study collaboratively or individually. For students to work comfortably in these areas, residential spaces should have an HVAC system with zoning abilities and that can quickly and effectively respond to shifting occupancy levels.
  •  

  • Housing Gets Branded as Lifestyle Takes Center Stage.” On- and off-campus housing that includes market-rate apartment amenities such as pools, fitness and media centers, and rock-climbing walls can encourage students to rent through university housing before looking to local apartment communities. To create physical space and a pleasant environment for these amenities, HVAC equipment must be small and whisper quiet; students want a rooftop pool, not a compressor farm.
  •  

  • Cost Plays a Bigger Role in What Gets Built.” Although comfortable and productive living spaces are ideal for campus housing, some schools are having a difficult time finding the land and capital to improve their accommodations. A large component of this problem is that colleges don’t have the resources and management experience to operate an expanded housing portfolio. However, if these schools are unable to renovate their housing entirely, they can start the process by upgrading to a new HVAC system. Energy-efficient systems offer schools reduced energy usage and low utility bills in addition to increased resident comfort.

To learn more about how HVAC can benefit the design and construction of student housing, check out these case studies featuring our products: The Suites on Paseo and Montserrat College of Art, Residential Village.

Written by MitsubishiHVAC
Comments Off
June 20, 2016, 9:00 am

How Can More People Use Less Energy?

June 20 Image

Ensuring that everyone has a comfortable place to live is always a concern for municipal housing authorities, but as rental space is increasingly scarce and homeownership less frequent, increased low-income housing developments are a mainstay.  ProudGreenHome.com recently highlighted a low-income retrofit in Washington, D.C. – an area desperately in need of financially viable housing solutions. The challenge of low-income retrofits like these is designing high-capacity housing units with low energy consumption.

Specifically with low-income housing – which is primed for retrofit applications and caters to a variety of families and their needs – the challenge is two-fold. First: How do you conserve energy usage while trying to build larger facilities to house more people, inevitably requiring more energy consumption? Secondly: How do you provide quality, comfortable housing without being cost-prohibitive?

You may be involved in a large public works project. If so, keep in mind that our systems offer a compelling solution for energy efficiency. The ability to target specific zones and varying energy needs make our systems an appealing option for this type of retrofit since they help many families meet many needs. For example, the J.L. Young Apartments run by the Tampa Housing Authority, Tampa, Florida used our split-ductless solutions to reduce its yearly HVAC consumption by 1,149,980 kWh, equating to a yearly expenditure reduction of $97,207.

Projects like these illustrate just how effectively our systems can reduce energy waste and ensure that, regardless of how much energy is used, it is only energy that is needed.

Written by MitsubishiHVAC
Comments Off
May 11, 2016, 9:00 am

Project Profile: North End Apartments

In Boston’s historic North End, the combination of extreme cold weather and colonial architecture make bringing comfort systems into old, closed-off buildings a demanding challenge. This is especially difficult while trying to maintain the charm and aesthetic of these structures.

Matt Donaghey – builder and managing director at Cricket Realty Holdings, LLC, Waltham, Massachusetts – was familiar with our products. Because of this, he knew that they would be the ideal fit for the strict demands of his Prince Street apartment building. “For the space, we knew that this system was the only realistic option,” Donaghey said.

Part of that was guaranteeing operation during extreme weather. “Usually, the cold isn’t something we need to consider all that often – most systems can handle our weather – but last year (when Boston experienced record snowfall) that really changed. Now we need something that can be highly efficient, especially in really cold weather.” This was the mindset that brought Donaghey to the decision to select our compact Zoning Comfort Solutions™ with Hyper-Heating INVERTER™ (H2i®) technology.

A once old and inefficient building that relied on unattractive window units for cooling and an ancient boiler for heating now has a clean look and reliable efficiency – not to mention heat! “When you have continuous days of sub-zero weather, you have to have the confidence that the system can continue to work,” Donaghey said of his completed project.

To read more about the North End Apartments, check out the case study.

March 22, 2016, 9:00 am

Green Certification in Unexpected Applications

march 22

This year’s International Builders’ Show provided a perfect forum for Home Innovation Research Labs to showcase its annual report and the initial results of its National Green Building StandardTM (NGBS) certification program. The goal of this program was to create a flexible yet consistent building certification program with which builders and developers could certify green projects. With over 60,000 green certified projects to date, these results show the success of the NGBS program.

Most interestingly, the report highlighted a niche of distinct mixed-use facilities that may not have qualified as green-certified projects under other metrics. Some of these facilities included:

  • Student Housing. Student housing creates small but diverse communities in a single area. Schools can promote sustainability by installing high-performance insulation and ventilation products, but also by placing campus housing facilities, student resource buildings and social life nearby one another, making it easier for students to make sustainable choices to walk or bike rather than take a car.
  • Military Housing. Servicemen, servicewomen and veterans bring to the building industry a variety of need-based applications. For example, in Liberty Hill, Texas, Staff Sergeant Ray Coffey needed a cold, dark space to help manage the after-effects of his service.
  • Rescue Facilities. Rescue facilities – firehouses, and emergency stations where first responders must remain on-call – typically have residential floors where professionals on call can sleep, cook and commune. These facilities also have the business component of a garage and dispatch. In some cases, these facilities could even be registered as a “residence with an exceptionally large garage.”
  • Supportive Shelters. In low-incoming housing, having cost-saving options but still providing noticeable comfort is right in line with the mission. Often these are varied spaces with multiple kitchens and residences, as well as community and enrichment rooms.

For more ideas about how to redefine sustainable building, click here to read the full annual report.

December 21, 2015, 11:32 am

Project Profile: Jesuit Spirituality Center at Saint Charles College

 

dec22Most retrofits are challenged by the difficulty of replacing old, cumbersome ductwork, but imagine retrofitting a building designed before air conditioning! That was the challenge in Grand Coteau, Louisiana, where Reverend James P. Bradley, S.J., wanted to update the HVAC system at the Jesuit Spirituality Center at Saint Charles College. The solution to that challenge: our VRF technology.

The century-old building houses a novitiate (Jesuit training center), a spirituality center for retreats and a 22-bed assisted living facility. For such a large, diverse project, Larry Blanchette, the project’s engineer, elected to use our VRF technology for a number of reasons:

  1. Cost Efficiency – Compared to the chilled water and hot water system that Blanchette initially planned to incorporate, VRF simply priced out better.
  2. Spacing – In a building that covers the equivalent of a city block, there were a number of large beams hidden in the structure. The building’s size and layout presented a challenge that VRF’s compact design was able to help navigate.
  3. Mold – With high humidity and 22 elderly residents, mold was a constant threat. VRF offered personalized comfort and better indoor air quality. “A couple men had asthma and allergy problems, but they’ve gone away,” said Bradley.

Above all, a central controls system has made managing the facility not only convenient, but has also kept the project under the expected cost.
Read the full case study for more details.

Written by MitsubishiHVAC
Comments Off
October 14, 2015, 12:23 pm

Project Profile: View Haus 5

Tadashi Shiga, principal, Evergreen Certified, Seattle, described View Haus 5 as “the now and the future of HVAC.” Recent industry recognition supports that: View Haus 5 is the Seattle area’s first Passive House-certified multifamily building and winner of the Passive House International US Completion Award, which honors the country’s best Passive projects.

Bradley Khouri, principal and founder, b9 architects, Seattle, designed the sustainable community. The five 1,100- to 1,700-square-foot homes feature century-old, reclaimed barn wood; LED lighting; walls over a foot thick; zero-VOC paints; airtight, tilt-turn windows – and our ductless multizone comfort systems.

“We needed the most efficient HVAC system out there,” said Sloan Ritchie, president and founder of Cascade Built. Our ductless system had a low enough load, a small enough footprint and high enough efficiencies to earn View Haus 5 multiple energy-focused certifications, including Passive House. Khouri said our systems are “great for uses like this because of their small size. And they provide incredible performance for such a small device.”

There’s even more proof in the pudding: One of the homes, a 1,431-square-foot unit, has a HERS Index of 47 and an annual energy cost of just $63 – an energy expenditure a tenth of its non-Passive neighbors.

Read more about the award-winning project.

September 10, 2014, 12:11 pm

Have You Checked Out Our Latest White Papers?

white papers


We developed two new white papers to educate architects, builders, contractors and engineers on one of the HVAC industry’s most compelling markets.

Our Multifamily White Paper describes the major benefits of Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) zoning systems, how they meet the demands of designing and building multifamily housing and solve HVAC-related challenges specific to these types of constructions. The Geothermal White Paper provides readers with an overview of water-source (geothermal) VRF zoning technology, its advantages compared to conventional systems and best practices and considerations for selection. Both white papers feature real-life case studies of successful applications.

Click here for the Multifamily White Paper and here for the Geothermal White Paper.

June 4, 2014, 12:57 pm

Spring: A Time for Home Improvement

June 4_NAHB Housing Market Trends Image
Spring is typically a popular time for home improvement and marks the beginning of the busy season for many HVAC contractors. According to a recent report from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), professionals have a reason to believe that there will be solid growth in the industry, despite disappointing housing data at the beginning of 2014.

Here are some of the interesting survey highlights:

  • Growth for single-family and multifamily homes. Housing’s share of the GDP stood at 15.5 percent as of the first quarter of 2014. The survey results forecast continued growth with the expansion of single-family and multifamily development. Multifamily construction spending increased by 30.8 percent, single-family is up by 16.3 percent and remodeling has grown by 12.8 percent on a three-month average basis from March of last year.

  • Hiring a professional for the job. Data from the American Housing Survey indicated that homeowners use professionals most often for HVAC system installation and roofing; followed by siding, windows and doors, electrical systems, plumbing and floors.

  • Top projects. Bathroom remodeling was the most common, with kitchen remodeling as a close second. Whole-house remodeling, room additions and window and door replacements rounded out the remaining top projects.

  • Reasons for remodeling. A desire for better amenities, a need to replace or repair components and a need for additional space were the most common reasons for undertaking a remodel.

  • Top markets for change. NAHB identified the top markets for change in single-family and multifamily market shares. Areas with the largest gains in single-family market concentration tended to have above-average population growth. Top markets include Fairbanks, Alaska; St. George, Utah; Yuma, Arizona; and Yakima, Washington.

Home improvement spending has a direct effect on both our industry and the economy, and we’re glad to see positive, continued growth so far in 2014. Click here to read the full NAHB report.

Written by MitsubishiHVAC
Comments Off
Free Viagra Samples